December 16, 2020

Rules clarified for visiting France from UK with pet

By haziqbinarif


The EU will cease to recognise British pet passports next year, meaning pet owners will have to prepare in advance before travel with a pet to France.

However the UK is not being classed as an ‘unlisted’ country, the least favourable pet travel status, which would have involved extra complications and delays.

There are three possible statuses with regard to a ‘third country’ (non-EU/EEA) and pet travel into the EU: part 1 or part 2 listed, or unlisted.

A key EU committee has now voted to place the UK on its ‘part 2’ list for pet travel purposes and a new EU regulation applicable from January 1 has confirmed the placing on list 2. 

The three possible pet travel statuses vary in terms of additional formalities.

In all scenarios, existing British EU pet passports would not have been recognised after the end of the Brexit transition period as the UK is treated fully as a third country. However countries that are part 1 listed are able to issue new national pet passports that are recognised by the EU.

Part 1 listing would have meant the process of pet travel is similar to now, except that owners use a new UK pet passport instead of an EU one.

If a country is unlisted, meanwhile, no British pet passports are recognised so owners need to ensure the pet has all required individual documents. The pet also in this case needs to have had a rabies titration blood test at least three months before travel into the EU, proving that it’s rabies vaccination is working.

Part 2 listing, which is what the UK is to obtain, is similar to being unlisted in some respects, but the titration blood test is not required.

The UK’s Defra ministry states that part 2 listing means a pet travelling from Britain to the EU will need an ‘animal health certificate’.

This document is valid for 10 days after its date of issue for entry into the EU, and is valid for up to four months for a single trip, onward travel in the EU and re-entry to the UK.

You should visit an ‘official veterinarian’ (OV) to obtain this, and request a dual language one in French and English, Defra states. Not all vets are OVS – there is information on finding one, and more about pet travel after Brexit on the UK government’s website

Defra has instructed OVs to get ready to issue these from December 22.

Your pet should also have had a rabies vaccination and be up to date with boosters and should be microchipped.

As before, the UK has a requirement for pets to have had a tapeworm treatment from a vet between 24 and 120 hours (five days) before entering or re-entering the UK.

The UK has stated that it will continue to recognise EU pet passports for travel to the UK.

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